July 19, 2022
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Angus King (I-Maine), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) today applauded the FCC’s proposal to redefine broadband connections as 100 megabits (Mbps) per second download or faster, enabling American families to access connections that meet the needs of modern internet users. The Senators had previously called on the FCC and the Biden administration to make this change, replacing the current outdated 25 megabits per second download speed definition.
“As rural communities across the country begin to see the massive impacts of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s historic investment in affordable broadband technology, we must make sure everyone has the high-speed connections needed to fully engage in 21st century life,” said the Senators. “To avoid lagging behind in our increasingly connected world, rural residents need the ability to work remotely, video conference with their loved ones, and access vital services like distance learning or telehealth. The current federal broadband standard of 25 megabits per second download speed has proven to be insufficient for these needs, and must be significantly updated to ensure reliable service. We’re glad Chair Rosenworcel has heard our calls to modernize this definition, and urge the FCC to finalize their decision on the standard as soon as possible.”
In March of last year, the Senators wrote a letter urging the 100 Mbps standard to then-Acting Chair of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Jessica Rosenworcel, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, and Director of the National Economic Council Brian Deese. In their letter, the Senators highlighted the modern demands of internet and how the current definition does not come close to meeting them.